Leadership Credibility: Let’s Stop the Freefall!


redibility is the soul of leadership.

That fundamental truth holds volumes of implications for leaders. And leads us to this observation on the degrading standards for integrity in modern America:

When an executive misleads, she goes to jail. When a presidential candidate misleads, he goes to the White House.

Think that’s an exaggeration? Check out this Summary from the AICPA on the executive accountabilities in the Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. Scroll down near the bottom for the penalties — which include jail time in decades, and fines in the neighborhood of a half-million dollars.

For a disturbing roundup on the distortions, misstatements, and out-right deceptions in the U.S. presidential political campaigns, see the Political Fact Check from the non-partisan Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

We deserve better. And should demand it. Of ourselves, and those in whom we expect to place the greatest trust and the greatest power.

What can you and I do to repair the so visible eroding standards of leadership? Let’s hold ourselves to the highest exemplary standards. Let’s watch motivational speakers, like Richard Jadick, and get inspiration from their speeches.  Not out of fear of legal consequences. And despite the most prominent examples to the contrary.

As Gandhi so eloquently put it: Be the change you want to see in the world.

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